Every year the Graduate School makes available about 60 fellowships to individuals on a competitive basis among all graduate programs on the campus. Departments compete with each other in nominating outstanding students. There are no duties; the stipend varies from year to year; and the fellowship includes a tuition waiver. Faculty or students may identify candidates to the faculty caucus in February; then the faculty choose from among these candidates their specific nominees. As a general rule, the faculty choose as nominees those students at or near the dissertation research or writing stage. Every effort is made to select nominees whose credentials --often evinced by stellar grades, GRE scores, and a strong publishing record -- give them the best chance of being chosen as finalists by the Graduate School's Fellowship Committee, a group made up of faculty from several disciplines.